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How to Feed Your Cat

Learn how to feed your cat properly from board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. E'Lise Christensen, DVM in this Howcast video.


Many cat owners wonder how much they should feed their cat and when. These are good questions and its going to be changing a little bit depending on who your cat is and how old they are, as well as what medical problems your cat might have. So it's always best to check with your veterinarian. In general though, it's great to feed your cat in a way that allows them to eat multiple times per day. And the reason is, because many cats would be, if left to their own devices, hunting many small meals, sometimes up to 20 per day.

That means a huge portion of a normal cat's time budget is taken up with hunting. And one way that we can simulate that is by providing our cats with either meals that take longer to eat or multiple small meals per day. If you want to just do one or two meals but want to make them last longer, then using a puzzle toy llike this one is a great option. There are many different ones out on the market.

You can even make them at home from scratch. But the important thing is that if you're feeding dry food, the dry food goes in the toy so the cat has to work for it just like he would work to hunt to make his meals everyday. As far as how much you feed your cat, that's going to depend on how many calories are in the cat food that you're feeding. And that's a great question for your veterinarian. If your cat's overweight like Essex here, she's probably going to take fewer calories than another cat that is her same age and roughly her same size because we're going to try and get some weight off of her.

That's why, aside from other medical concerns, even if you're just dealing with a cat who might be a little chubbier or a little thin, you wanna talk to your vet about how many calories your cat should have based on the amount of food and the type of food that you're feeding. Now, for water, the most important thing about water is that cat's should have water available all of the time. Many cats although not all, prefer fresh running water. You might actually see that your cat prefers to drink out of the faucet, for instance, or many enjoy drinking right of your glass. Now, you might not want to share your glass of water with your cat but it's nice to leave one aside where your cat can easily get to it. Otherwise, there are many water fountains available that many cats enjoy.

And that's how to make sure your cat gets adequate food and water.

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